tv [untitled] September 27, 2012 10:30pm-11:00pm PDT
achievement gap for several years and in doing so, after a few years of organizing in san francisco in the public schools, its was no secret to coleman advocates parents and students that african-american, latino and pacific islanders were receiving a different quality of education. in 2007 we found that african-americans were ranked dead last in api scores for all major urban school districts in california. this was the low below even special education students in their api scores for [speaker not understood]. the next year coleman fought for the board of education to close the achievement gap. that resolution to ensure the upcoming district strategic plan was focused on addressing the racial achievement grape in inequity in our school. thankfully the board passed that unanimously. however, the gap has widened, especially for african-american students. many of you might have seen the
report that came out talking about the 2011 released analysis comparing the progress of california school districts. unfortunately san francisco received an overall grade of d. and in particular the african-american students as it relates to sfusd, we ranked 127 out of 128. i want to have one of our parent leaders, olivia gudeau, give a statement. >> hi, my name is olivia harris. i am a san francisco resident, also a native san franciscan. i have four children in the san francisco unified school district, at george washington carver elementary school, and martin luther king school. i'm the president of the ptsa at my child's elementary school and a member of coleman advocacy for children and youth.
i am here today to talk about the achievement gap and how our african-american children are falling behind and how the gap is growing between african-american children as a group. this summer i took part in a leadership academy with coleman advocacy and learned that more than 65% of african-american children in the districts are not proficient in language, arts and math, while caucasian children looks nothing like ours. i also learned about the school to prison pipeline and the result achievement gap plays. our african-american children fall forced and get pushed into prison because the district has not taken the time to sit down with the little african-american boys and girls and really invest in them.
more needs to be done before it is too late. it is important. our children's lives are at stake now more than ever. [speaker not understood] is on the verge of extinction in the city. if more is not done to help our children's future generation. thank you for giving me the opportunity to express the needs in our district. >> thank you. >> and, so, a lot of folks know us as an organization that focuses on a through g. [speaker not understood] we'll continue to be closing the achievement gap. but why did we get started? we looked at ways in which the district was preparing african-american and latino and pacific islander students for college and jobs and found shocking racial discrepancies. in 2008 we found that 5 out of 6 latino students and 9 out of
10 african-american students were not enrolled in the a through g classes needed for a four-year collegeful and may not have even been informed that these classes were an option. * college so, going back in history a little bit, before '98 the district included the a through g courses sequences as part of the graduation requirement. in 2008 they did not. so, if you look back on -- excuse me, in '98 there were 52% of african-american students out of that class that were eligible for college. however, in 2008 only 16.2% were eligible. san francisco unified class of 2010 graduation drop-out rate prior to a through g, prior to
that graduation requirement, there's was 63% african americans that graduated and 19% that had dropped out. and we highlight this mainly to show that although the graduation, the a through g requirement is here now, it was a problem in '98. there was a problem in 2008, and there continues to be a problem in 2012. to the district class of 2010 students who completed the a through g course sequence unfortunately was only 29% of african americans. also in 2010, specifically at thurgood marshall, we had about 30 students that were african-american that graduated. out of that 30 students there were -- excuse me, there were 30 students total, but there
were 20 that graduated. there were two that graduated with an a through g, and five that dropped out. at burton there were 23 students, 18 that graduated, two that had the a through g, and about three that dropped out. i'm going to introduce kevin bogus who is going to read a statement because our young person had to leave. >> so, i'm going to read a statement from one of our youth making a change members. i'm going to read it as she wrote it. my name is [speaker not understood] and i am a senior at balboa high school and i am a leader with ymac and coleman advocate. my experience being a black student at sfusd has been a roller coaster ride. one year i had really good teachers who wanted me to succeed and who cared about my education. but the next year i had teachers who didn't believe i could make it.
it's not fair because every student deserves a quality education no matter what their background is. i feel like other black students have had worse experiences than me. i have a parent who works for sfusd and people at school like my teachers know who my mother is and it makes a difference in the experience that i had. when you have someone constantly telling you that you can't do something and can't succeed it gets in your head and you start to believe it. like internalized depression, you start to believe that you're stupid and you can't be successful. i do not necessarily think that sfusd has set me up for success. i had teachers who didn't believe in me in past grades that followed me that didn't necessarily reflect me. they reflect the struggles that i was going through that year. this year i have up to 36 kids in a class and students have trouble getting help from the teacher with that many people in the classroom. i didn't know that i needed to
make up classes to be eligible for college until my last semester of junior year, and now i have to push hard to finish so i can go to college. my college counselor told me i'd be better off at city college and that i couldn't handle college-level classes. but i am determined to do it and being told that i shouldn't go to college is just something that makes me even more determined to do it. i like a challenge and i want to go to uc santa cruz. a through g is really important for kids graduating after me. my younger cousins and sibyls. for them it's a road map to high school and about those classes, you are out of luck if you're not going to get to college. * siblings. >> in 2009 over 200 coleman advocate students, parents and allies arrived at sfusd to watch the board of education unanimously pass the policy that changed the graduation requirement to include the a through g course.
this was a huge victory and seemed to be a step in the right direction for our students, especially black latino pacific islander students. the policy went into effect for the class of 2014. let's talk about some challenges with implementing a through g. there has been lack of monitoring, adequate monitoring of the a through g implementation at the school site level until this year. not enough oversight by the core board of education to look at how adequate usfg [speaker not understood] and access to data relating to the current student progress, political will of the sfusd staff at all levels of implementation, and yes, we cannot forget the state and their funding issues.
[speaker not understood] the data until this moment. we were privy to see some preliminary data. however, the concern for us is regardless of how you look at it, there are 76% of the 2014 class off track. there are 65% of the 2015 class off track. we have to figure out a way to fix this. we have to figure out that it's not okay for us to act like it's not a reality because these are our children. these are our responsibilities. so, coleman is calling for immediate agency and a call of action that includes a renewed commitment to the academic success of african-american students and other historically under served students of color from san francisco unified school district. this includes sfusd providing real access to a through g courses and career pathway courses at every school for
every student. sfusd ensuring that adequate supports are in place for students to be successful in the a through g core sequences, prioritized for under served students of color. sfusd releasing timely and accurate data, monitoring the disparate progress and preparing students for successful graduation in 2014 and beyond. san francisco unified district in collaboration with the city and county of san francisco together identify the financial resources for crisis intervention making a broken promise and truly supporting all students in being successful, not just some. focusing on offering credit recovery opportunities like seventh period available at each high school for struggling students with a teacher present, not just online cyber high. prioritizing the students most at risk of not graduating for the classes of 2014 and 2015.
smaller classes sizes for the key a through g classes and academic support and tutoring for students not on track for graduation. where there are many things the select committee can recommend and move on to both body, we are encouraging each one of you to take into account, like i said, the urgency and figuring out how we are going to graduate 2014 and 2015. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. colleagues, any questions? (applause) >> on the presentation? supervisor olague. >> i guess i was wondering, what do you think some of the actions should be, you know, how do you think we can get there? what do you recommend? >> mr. chair and commissioner or supervisor olague, besides the points that we specifically
[speaker not understood], one has to be the need to address it. this is our reality. san francisco is an amazing city. i've only been in the bay area three years, san francisco for a year. i love it here. i talk about it at home regular. but with that being said, we can't act like these students over here, the black and brown students are dirty laundry and we're not going to address their needs. we can't act like we're successful over here and amazing to the nation, but we're not going to come up with innovative ways to address what's happening here. so, immediately we do need credit recovery. we need options for these students who are one class plus or more off track to graduate. that includes other options besides online because even with the online options, our young people have said, yeah, we can finish t but i'm not learning anything. and we really don't even have accurate data of what is the
completion rate of our young people in credit recovery with the online courses. at least we ask over and over and have not been able to receive that. in addition to that academic support, because we want to prevent it from happening in the first place. and that goes for all grades. we want to make sure that young people are having a successful opportunity while they're in a classroom and not having to take their time instead of being enriched through other courses, having to take the class that they've already taken again. >> one thing i found intriguing was the comment of the student. i don't know if it's something that's happening, but it would be interesting to do some kind of group with the student to find out directly with them what they're feeling, you know. because sometimes it's something that's even hard to articulate or they can't even measure -- it can't be measured, you know, the way we measure things. i think it would be interesting to get their direct input. >> mr. chair and supervisor
olague, coleman youth are open and willing to participate in that. >> thank you. >> thank you. supervisor cohen. >> okay. i'm sorry, i didn't catch your name again. >> niva walker. >> niva, that's right. you talked about credit recovery. i'm under the impression that we had a summer program, certainly last summer on credit recovery. do we have one this summer as well? >> yes, we did. >> we did. how would you evaluate that program? >> we are waiting for the district to release the data on the completion of rate for the students. we have not been able to get that yet. so, that's something we have to follow-up on. >> have you had a chance [speaker not understood] also new to the committee, have you had a chance to look at the data from last summer? >> yes and yes. and i can't tell you that. right now i have to -- what is your specific question? >> it's not necessarily a question. gist it's more of a stamp.
to the best of my knowledge, i see [speaker not understood] in the chamber. he might be able to speak to it a little bit because i think he helped run some of the program, the credit recovery. but it was a successful summer program. this year, this exact body heard the report -- the data from last summer because i agree with you. we have to -- if you don't make it the first time, you have to give a fair opportunity to get back in there and do it again. so >> so, mr. chair and coleman to that point, not all a through g courses are offered during the summer. there is a problem with that. if you are not keeping track of what classes are offered in the summer program and what classes students need to make sure they get access to those classes, there is a [speaker not understood]. >> you heard both presentations, one from the san francisco unified school district and the other one from dcyf. could you give me your gut reaction or some -- if you can -- or you can give me some kind
of -- some thoughts that you were thinking as you were listening to some of the data you presented today. >> yes, mr. chair, and supervisor cohen. there is actually data the school district provided is promising the children for tomorrow, right. we're dealing with a crisis of high school students today and the issue is they did not present any recommendations on how to resolve the issues that are facing us today. and, so, when we get to figuring out how we can get the school district to not just also prepare students at kindergarten and the rest of the elementary grades, but also focusing on the students that were not given adequate education that they deserved yesterday, then i can talk about that. >> so, you probably know what the numbers were looking like 10 years ago as i was. thank you, mr. chair. that's all i have. >> colleagues, i'd like to turn it over to public comment. i think it's really important for us to hear from members of the public. so, i have a number of speaker cards that i'm going to read. but any member of the public who would like to speak on
items 1 and 2, i would ask that you come forward. so, the speaker cards are from sharon hewett, robert woods, lilly ratcliff, jamil patterson, peter alexander, and ace washington. please come up. you each have two minutes. and we also have shaman walton. hi, i'm [speaker not understood], and i did not fill out a card. i do apologize. one thing we're talking about solutions. first i wanted you to picture this. my kids' friends, when i encourage them to go back to school after they graduate, say, hey, i'm not going to live beyond 21. what for? there's hopelessness. solution, maybe we need cameras in the classrooms.
maybe we need to have accountability that teachers, the mayor need to be held accountable financially with the rates of failure. we have a society full of people. we need to be treated as human beings. i think we need books, we need black teachers. we need books that deal with historical contributions of blacks. i think we need subject matter of blacks. i think that the biggest thing is these kids don't feel cared about. they don't feel like they're a part of anything. they get access to guns more than they get to the school book. i think we don't take into consideration the parent involvement, the fact that they have financial struggles as well. i think that needs to be looked at. another solution is, well, we have these kids today who cannot earn or graduate, see if there can be a work and learn
at the same time, you know, economic viability. there's mental health. god, i have so many other suggestions that i guess i'll have to e-mail you. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. willie ratcliff, san francisco daily newspaper. and i'm certainly glad that this hearing is being held. i've heard a lot of good things. it just seems like nobody talks about the real problem. it's cause and effect. how much money does the african-american, latino community, the samoan community get out of the capital project? what is the unemployment rate of the same people that we're talking about? where do you spend your money? because you can't wait till a kid gets to school then all of a sudden he's going to do
something and they come up with no money in their house, home. for the parents to help kid. and that's the city and the school district. take a look at how much money that went towards communities that we are talking about. it's cause and effect. if you don't put the money out there in those communities, look what happened out at the school, tearing down the willie brown academy. no blacks. and then you get out here and talk about everything else, but cannot talk about the real problem. the real problem is it's discriminatory and exploitation and lockout of those communities. the black community, the latino community and of course the -- everybody that's locked out. we need to deal with that. now, give me the statistics on that.
i heard statistics on everything else. i haven't heard one person mention what really happens. and how are you going to turn it around? because those communities are continually locked out. you're not going to be able to do nothing about the problem. that's my problem. so, i'd like to see you all -- >> thank you. getting ready to build a school out there? >> thank you, mr. ratcliff. next speaker, please. thank you. >> that's helpful. [speaker not understood] from the bayview. i think the first thing we have to look at like this is it's not to harp on the board of education and not to harp on you guys for not coming together. the bottom line is just some things that came up here. first, how many know where the naacp office is? you see what i'm talking about? so, the naacp is a vehicle
[speaker not understood] on tracks any more. second thing, how many programs out there in the bayview? >> how many what? how many beacon programs in the bayview? thank you. i don't want the bell to get me. i work with dr. gray in the k through 12 program in the bayview at hoover knows. i was stunned when i found out these kids didn't have pencils and paper. so, what we did along with angie, we solicited paper from paper companies that they dropped off there so they would have paper. if you want to call something a shame, you call that a shame. these are students that go to school in san francisco that don't have pencils and papers and pens. now, some of the teachers were going in their own pockets. but in order to bring something together, i think what has to happen is you need to go out there and visit the center. how many of you have been out there to visit? i know, the same thing that one that came up in the back. thank you. >> thank you very much.
next speaker. good evening, my name is robert woods and i'm with the san francisco black human rights council. i'm an architect by education and i'm teaching ged math to those who have dropped through the crack. and through my experience in teaching them, i find that if you don't like the people you're serving, you cannot deliver a positive message to them. and that's the problem that i'm running into, and i have students who came into the class and they were afraid to open their mouth. and now i got them hollering answers colina cross the room. they don't care who knows.
they're trying. * clean across the room. and this is the thing i try to get them to build up their self-esteem in the classroom. if i can get them to do that, i can get them to learn the math and they have been getting it and getting it quick. now, you asked -- supervisor cohen, you asked when did this start, when did this education drop off. it started before you were born. it's been happening a long time. so, when you said -- when you said it takes a healthy community, that means working. healthy -- if you don't work, you don't eat. and, so, this is what we're trying to do in bayview hunters point.
i come here with a message for you to appeal to your better wisdom and your judgment because that's what [inaudible]. >> thank you very much, sir. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. next speaker. i'm even too old to really address this because i'm over 10 years removed. but i can remember when tupac died and one of my cool teachers put "we love you, tupac" a picture of him in the class. and the principal told her to remove it. and that just points to the disconnect. i mean, instead of trying to get me to understand shakespeare first, who i might not like or don't care about, try to show me how writing a thesis is equivalent to writing a good song.
you've got to meet the youth where they're at. and what i see from the school system, i don't even see them budging that way. and writing a song is very -- it's very similar to writing a thesis. and also i think this city -- this country should be a bilingual country. you know, the people who argue about that, it would be trivial. we should speak english. because what i notice, i remember watching a program and the youth, he was 14, he said i don't want to learn a foreign language. but he's out there in the streets. if you go to prison, hopefully not, knowing a foreign language can save your life. or if you want to do something else with your life, knowing a foreign language can help you make more money. so, i think we need to explore other angles. we need to be more career orientated because now we're in the technology age and i don't even think the school system is there. so, that solution right there,
you see kids making videos all the time. so, you know, we need to explore -- you need to be open minded and i don't have enough time to really convey my point so, thank y'all. >> thank you, sir. next speaker. with gratitude for everybody that's here, it's a beautiful day. and regarding the illusory nature of our striving, there is no national debt. it is base on deception, murder and trees on and should not be acknowledged. the european, chinese and asian communities around the world have far superior education. home schooling should be seriously considered. american students have long been taught to be subservient spectators to a system gone insane. roosevelt called america the great experiment. * eisenhower warned of the
military industrial complex which is why most of our youth end up in the military or prisons. adults would now be wise to implement 20-hour workweeks with massive guarding programs based on the 14 acre south los angeles urban gardens which would provide work he for everybody forever. and if martin luther king saw the promised land, where do you think we are? i am that i'm and i am here. i speak the truth i've got no fear. one man that's in prison is going to be executed on october 3rd in pennsylvania. his name is terry williams. you should look the case up. and, so, i here with all my heart put forth the message to law enforcement nationwide to refuse the execution of terry williams and also to make sure that dr. jessie mcdonald, regardless of how his case comes out, is not sent back to prison because our law enforcement is a very powerful tool and our sheriffs are the number one authority in the country, not the feds. and, so, it is given